USB Firewall Software Seeks to Prevent Insider Data Breaches

The Vista-compatible software provides a protective layer against unauthorized transfers of data to portable devices.

The most problematic database security breaches often dont come from hackers, but from the inside.

With that in mind, the software company CoSoSys has released Secure it Easy for Windows Vista, software that blocks the unauthorized transfer of data to portable storage devices. Its latest offering puts the Romania-based company in the league with other firms looking to address concerns about insider data breaches.

Avivah Litan, an analyst for Gartner, said it is difficult to know just how many insider data breaches occur, partly because companies dont always know about them or publicize them. However, the demand for products aimed at preventing data leaks and monitoring employee behavior on computer networks is small but growing, she said.

"There is a demand for controlling data from leaving the enterprise," she said.

Recent research done by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Vontu, a data loss prevention company, found that 72 percent of respondents thought data loss of USB drives and removable media was the No. 1 concern for endpoint security.

Removable storage devices could be used by a disgruntled employee to smuggle data out of the office, or could accidentally upload virus-ridden files into a network when plugged into a PC, CoSoSys officials said.

To mitigate that risk, Secure it Easy acts as a protective layer between the protected PC and the portable storage device, ensuring only devices authorized by the PCs administrator can be used to transfer data to and from the PC.

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In addition, the administrator can receive e-mail notifications when unauthorized devices have been connected to PCs somewhere within his infrastructure. This helps find intruders and possible security breaches, CoSoSys officials said.

Sunil James, Arbor Networks product manager for security services, said companies need to have more than technology on their side to protect them against insider threats. They also need sound policies, he added.

"I think the concept of insider versus of an outsider is evolving to the point that we should be looking at every single user and the rights that that person has to do whatever it is on an arbitrary network," James said.

"If you start with the mindset that a company is compromised of individuals and you have to have policy for every single individual I think situations like this…have the potential to not happen as often because of the fact that you cant hide behind a group of users for example who are known to have certain types of roles and responsibilities."

Besides Windows Vista, Secure it Easy is compatible with Windows XP and Windows 2000. The application user interface is available in English, German and French.

A Secure it Easy license is available for $44.95 per installation, and volume licenses for companies are available, company officials said, adding the application is available for download as 30-day trial version.

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